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'Prey' Director Explains Hulu Release and Full-blown Comanche Culture

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Dan Trachtenberg had been brainstorming an action movie for the Predator franchise set in the 1700s, “Play,” but it was believed that the film would be the first entry in the storied action series to debut outside of theaters. I was informed.

The filmmaker first pitched ‘Prey’ to 20th Century Fox following his directorial debut ’10 Cloverfield Lane’ in 2016. worldwide box office. Trachtenberg’s work on “Predator” was initially enthusiastic, but the project fell through as the Walt Disney Company began buying him 20th Century Fox. Once the dust settled, the fate of “Prey” changed from wide theatrical releases to straight-to-streaming.

“After the merger happened, the discussion about it coming to Hulu started,” Trachtenberg said. variety.

But the director wasn’t going to hold back from putting all the stops on “Prey’s period detail and bloody violence for a less-than-glamorous distribution scheme.”

“We made the film with the intention of making it a huge theatrical experience,” said Trachtenberg. “I’ve worked in a lot of television where I was always tied to the format I had to work in. Here it wasn’t.”

“Prey” thoughtfully transfers the dynamics of “Predator” to the Great Plains. At that time, some Native Americans lived unaffected by colonial invasion. A Comanche woman named Nabu (Amber Midthunder) is hungry to prove her abilities as a hunter.

The simplified premise carries an entirely new locale and mood for the series, while also lending itself naturally to the “Predator” hunter-to-be dynamic. ), Trachtenberg believed his creative approach to the franchise was strong enough to stand on its own film.

“One of the reasons it was called ‘Prey’ was because we felt it could work in the same way that ‘Star Wars’ was doing. There were offshoots like ‘Rogue One’ and ‘Solo.’ I knew Shane’s film was the beginning of something new, and I didn’t want them to just say no just because they had plans,” he explained Trachtenberg. “There were some films that were original ideas of mine that were very difficult to push up the mountain. I think it’s because it’s generic and it’s very simple.

To faithfully represent the film’s Comanche heroes, Trachtenberg enlisted the help of producer Jane Myers, who is a member of both the Comanche and Blackfeet nations.

“I grew up on Predator and I love action,” Myers said. “I don’t like love stories or anything like that, so I was really excited that Dan chose me to work with him so we could tweak the Native aspects and add our culture. ”

The native representation runs deeper than casting with “Prey”. The production consulted with Pueblo musicians to create wind and drum sounds with authentic instruments. A native his artist was hired to create the end credits animation. The end credits unfold in the style of traditional Plains Hyde Art. The internship program allowed First Nations youth to gain experience in the industry. Myers himself built the cradle that appears in the film.

“Native research and native involvement impact everything from start to finish,” says Myers.

The dedication to native perspective extends to the use of language in “Prey.” This deliberately omits the inclusion of subtitles when a band of French fur trappers appears in the story. .

Additionally, the dialogue between the native characters was filmed in English, but Comanche audio tracks are available for Hulu viewers.

“For culture, you have to look at Comanche first,” Myers advised. “You have to look at it twice.”

“Prey” debuts exclusively on Hulu on Friday.